Weight Loss Journey Finds Patient Wanting to Become Fitness Instructor

Leila Aragon
Leila Aragon has found joy in helping others on their journey to health.

Leila had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) at UC Davis Health System in September of 2014. She has made some amazing changes ... read her story below.

1) What moment made you finally decide to have surgery?

Before my VSG journey, I lost 75 pounds through diet and exercise in 2013. 2014 brought many challenges and I found myself at a place I once was determined never to go again...the scale was quickly moving in the wrong direction. After a lot of research and prayers I decided to undergo bariatric surgery.

2) How has your quality of life changed?

Over the course of the year I've completed a lot: 5K races, checked-in at various In Shape Clubs 231 times, went from walking around the track to jogging to running up and down the bleachers during my daughter's band practices, went from strolling to alternating walking/jogging every two minutes to jogging for 2-3 miles straight, found my rhythm in UJam and am getting ready to become an instructor, hiked above the clouds on a very stressful day and fell back in love with hiking during various hikes around the Bay Area, got to tighten my seat belt on an airplane with a lot of extra room, crossed my legs comfortably without my legs going numb or tingly, tied my own shoelaces without my kids' help, had the energy to serve more at my church - even started serving in the high school ministry, enjoyed a Maui vacation feeling "normal." I've learned SO MUCH from the ‪#‎WLS (weight loss surgery) community on Instagram - my "support group", and have found so much joy in helping others on their journey to health.

3) What is your advice to those who are struggling with their weight?

Stay connected! Don't try to navigate through this journey alone. The Weight Loss Surgery community on Instagram has been my lifeline and without the support, ideas, and real-life stories I found on there, I don't think I would've made it as far as I have. I'm a busy single mom of busy teenagers and making it to actual support group meetings isn't an option for me - but thanks to this community, I get the support I need and am able to share my story to the world. Find me there @elaraye